Your pots and pans may be busier this year, but with Thanksgiving and the holidays right around the corner, it’s not time to put them away just yet. With recalls and outbreaks affecting some grocery store foods recently, the FDA has released food safety tips to help reduce your risk of developing a foodborne illness.
While you can never be too safe right now, these six tips are things to remember all year round! (And be sure to check out the 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time before you turn the oven on again!)
The FDA starts off its list of safety tips to avoid food poisoning this fall with a warning about raw flour — it could contain harmful bacteria. “If you’re baking apple pies, pumpkin bread, or anything in between, you’re likely using flour,” the FDA says, “and it’s important to remember that flour is a raw food.”
The bacteria is killed off in the oven, so make sure to avoid tasting the batter (yep, this includes cookie dough). But, How Unsafe Is It Really to Eat Raw Cookie Dough?
Bacteria can spread from raw food to ready-to-eat food, so the FDA says it’s best to keep everything separate. Egg yolk, four, meat, poultry, seafood, and other raw foods can get onto countertops, packaging, and your hands. Grocery shopping carts, bags, and the refrigerator can also carry them.
For more, here are 30 foods that shouldn’t be eaten raw.
Not willingly consuming raw flour, eggs, and other ingredients is an easy way to protect yourself from foodborne illnesses, but perhaps the most important is to simply follow the recipe! There’s a reason there are specific cooking temperatures and times to follow.
For any specific questions, Text This Number on Thanksgiving for Turkey-Cooking Tips.
Use hand sanitizer often when at the grocery store, and wash your hands when you get home. The FDA says it’s also best to clean surfaces often when preparing a meal. This goes for if the food is raw or not. Doing so not only gets rid of food bacteria but other germs from outside the home that could have gotten in!
Want some specific tips on how to keep your cooking space clean? Here are the best 50 kitchen cleaning tips right now.
One way bacteria can spread is if food isn’t chilled properly — before and after cooking it. The FDA says the right way to do so is “by refrigerating or freezing meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, and other perishables within 2 hours of cooking or purchasing.”
The time moves up to one hour if the temperature outside is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. While this Thanksgiving may not be that hot, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Like meat, poultry, seafood, flour, and eggs, fresh produce can carry the harmful bacteria responsible for foodborne illnesses, too. So it’s important during cider season to be careful with buying or making fresh-squeezed drinks.
“Unless the produce or the juice have been pasteurized or otherwise treated to destroy harmful bacteria, the juice could be contaminated,” the FDA says. “When preparing juice or cider at home, thoroughly wash your hands and all produce and cut away any damaged or bruised areas on fruits and vegetables. Store the juice and cider in the refrigerator.”
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